Kingdom Hearts 3D Review
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance is an enjoyable but flawed adventure through a magical Disney universe.
- Wonderfully detailed Disney environments
- Mickey and Donald are an amusing double act
- Fast-paced battles
- Beautiful, Disney-based soundtrack
- Insanely cute dream eaters.
- Horribly confusing storyline
- Frustrating boss battles
- Little in the way of exploration or side quests
- Awkward spell-switching controls.
No one can lighten the mood quite like Donald Duck can. The world may be on the brink of destruction, and the boundaries of reality blurred across the time-space continuum, but with a single quack and a well-timed waggle of that feathery tail, it's all forgotten. And therein lies the reason for Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance's success. For all of its saccharine melodrama, hammy voice acting, and nigh on impenetrable plot points, those little touches of Disney magic--coupled with some fast-paced combat--make this grandiose action role-playing game an endearing and entertaining adventure.
Of course, if you're not a fan of Mickey Mouse and his well-known entourage, then chances are a lot of that Disney charm will be lost on you. Likewise, if you've never played a Kingdom Hearts game before, then the already complex narrative becomes an impenetrable fortress of intertwining plot points. The game does its best to fill you in on the details via a series of flashbacks and essay-like recaps of past games, but with six games and six sprawling narratives to make sense of, only the most hardened of fans are likely to follow it all.
Be prepared to spend most of the game confused then. Sora, a spiky-haired teenager, teams up with Riku, a spiky-haired teenager, to take the Mark of Mastery exam--a test that will turn the pair from mere amateur adventurers into full-blown keyblade masters powerful enough to take on long-serving villain Master Xehanort. You play as both characters throughout the adventure, switching between them in timed intervals known as drops. It's a strange idea, and in practice it's disconcerting to be in the middle of a quest, only to be dragged out of it into an entirely separate one, often forgetting what on earth it is you're supposed to be doing. You can increase the length of your drop with buffs or by fighting enemies, but even then it's only by seconds. It doesn't help that as Sora and Riku are sent to alternate realities of worlds previously destroyed by the villainous Heartless, there's a lot of backtracking and repetition.
Naturally, the Mark of Mastery exam doesn't quite go according to plan, and the pair soon find themselves tangled up in yet another villain's dastardly plot to rule over the world of Kingdom Hearts. Cue nonstop blurry flashbacks, wavy visions of the future, and dialogue worthy of the campiest of B movies, and you've got yourself a plot. To go deeper would be to give too much away, but suffice it to say, it's an ambitious, almost Inception-like tale that gets very complicated very quickly--and not always for the right reasons. You're left in the dark for so long, and characters do so little to explain things throughout your adventure, that when the big reveal comes, you're as confused as you were before--perhaps even more so.
Such complications do little to help you connect with the characters, but they are, on the whole, a likeable bunch of well-meaning, if slightly whiny, teenagers. Well, except for the guy who insists on adding "yo" to the end of every sentence--you'll want to punch him in the face within five seconds of meeting him. Thankfully, he plays only a small part in the proceedings, and it's not long before you leave the first world of Traverse Town to meet the real stars of the show.
They are, of course, the Disney characters. The worlds you visit are themed around familiar and beautifully re-created Disney films, and include classics like Pinocchio, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Fantasia, as well as the modern setting of Tron. Within them live the stars of those films, with problems (usually those from the film's plot) that need solving. Whether it's facing off against CLU in the neon surroundings of the Grid or rescuing the ever-beautiful Esmeralda from the fires of Notre Dame, each mission is a nostalgic joy to play through. They're accompanied by some stellar music too, with the pounding strings of Fantasia's The Sorcerer's Apprentice making for one of the most surreal but supremely satisfying pieces of music to do battle to.
@Bayonetta2013 Wow, you are not on top of things at all.
If you actually cared about the series, you'd know the handheld games have been not only adding to the plot, but progressing it. This game in particular pushes the story a huge step forward. They have been expanding the story so that KH3 has a very large point, making them far from pointless. They've taken the story further, that is their purpose, not to make money.
If you don't care about the series, then you have no right to badger Square Enix to make a game for a series you clearly aren't interested in. So back off.
Actually, either way, back off. People like you really need to learn patience.
@DaxtersSidekick @Bayonetta2013 I do care about the series to a degree, thank you very much (I wasn't aware that you knew everything about me...you must be psychic!). These spin-offs add little to the story, and are only delaying a game fans have been asking for years now. Birth By Sleep was interesting, but now it's just gotten ridiculous. If I didn't have any interest in this series, smartass, then I wouldn't be here, I wouldn't bother rating any of the KH games or pouring hours into KH2. So, in actuality, YOU don't have the right to tell me what I can and cannot do, or whether I care about this series.
Snubbing someone because they made a small, sarcastic comment only shows you clearly had no other point in replying other than to defend Square Enix (Final Fantasy fan here for ten years, bud) mindlessly and making assumptions about someone you don't know.
Please think the next time you write a comment like that.
And you'd be surprised. Many people claim to be "fans" even though they've ignored the series since KH2 on the basis that games they haven't played aren't important to the story. Cause, you know, they would know right? It's an ignorance that's far too common and a personal pet peeve of mine.
Anyway, good to hear you're not among that rabble. Despite that, your original comment still ignores the importance the handheld games have. Birth by Sleep and Dream Drop Distance have nearly the same level of importance as a numbered title, if not as much. You shrug them off as money-makers, which devalues their significant importance. Why wouldn't I assume you didn't care about the series? It sounded like you hadn't even played them. Besides, Square Enix never gave us an indication that Kingdom Hearts III was on the way until recently. In fact, they announced the first three handheld games soon after KH2 and yet people still expected KH3 during their releases for whatever reason. People shouldn't have expected much.
Lastly, what you say and do defines what you think. Even if you do care about the series, remarks like that give another impression.With such a dry sense of humour it shouldn't be a surprise that I thought you didn't mean well. Or did you? If you didn't, my defense of Square Enix is totally justified.
I've just started the game, and maybe it'll get better when I carry on, but so far, my biggest gripe is the Spirit interaction system. Now, I like the spirit system itself, but I hate the way you deal with them in the menu. To feed them, you throw the food, and wait for them to eat it. Or should I say, wait for them to eventually waddle their way towards it while they flitter too-and-fro. And don't get me started with painting them. Keep the @#$% still, you @#$%ing bat, so I can paint something other than your wing.
The only character in the game with terrible voice acting was Sora. xD Man, I love KH and the whole series, but there are times where Sora's paralyzingly obvious comments and realizations just hurt to watch. Good thing Riku, in my opinion, had sensible quips/dialogue. =)
"You can increase the length of your drop with buffs or by fighting enemies, but even then it's only by seconds."
Drop-me-not bro. It can refill the whole timer
I've already put a review up for this game, but I want to comment on the review since everyone else has. I agree with all of 'The Good' and I agree with the "Little in the way of exploration or side quests". Sort of agree with "Horribly confusing storyline", but that's only if I over think things, and "Awkward spell-switching controls"... yeah... I know what he means, it can be difficult on occasion.
But I don't agree with "Mickey and Donald are an amusing double act", you just don't see them enough. "Frustrating boss battles", the boss fights can be frustrating, but are easy once you figure them out.
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@Gelugon_baat For the final time, annoyed, not upset.
Anyway, you have fun with your hatred-fest. You'll never accomplish anything though.
But then, that's none of my business. If you want to waste your time, be my guest. At this stage, I just want to forget I ever met you.
I would love to pick up this game soon. I love the KH series to death! I'd love to see more title releases on the 'chunky' consoles like PS2/3, XBOX or whatever. :)
Still white knighting huh?
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@Gelugon_baat Still saying no one should have an opinion eh?
@Gelugon_baat I'm actually reasoning with you, trying to get you to realise that this is pointless. Of course, you're just a troll so I'm not getting far due to your arrogant, self-righteous and stubborn drive to behave like this anyway.
A different opinion? Some of his points were opinions. Others were downright lies. I responded to both and then gave my opinion of his opinion. I was mocking it, not arguing with it.
@Gelugon_baat No, it's your problem because you're deliberately trying to insult us. You are a troll after all. You set out to get agressive responses with deliberately ignorant or immature comments. You really are quite a hypocrite.
And while I am annoyed/irritated by it, what makes you think this review upsets me?
@Gelugon_baat You still insult and denounce them for it. You're quite a hypocrite.
@Gelugon_baat there are over a hundred comments of which people have stated their opinion that you argue with saying otherwise >.>
Will admit switching spells is confusing. would have liked it if you could just press the L-button and there would be a shortcut list like in previous games. Also, I wish you could use items from the start menu. Those are my major qualms, but if Sora falls to the darkness I cry and scream. I love the amount of spells and the awesome abilities you can get. Great game. Took away the RPG elements with clothing, but gave them back in abilities.
Also Voice acting BAD??? maybe Soras but the rest were the same and even better ( well not Ansem SOD old voice actor but....oh well)
The BadHorribly confusing storyline Frustrating boss battles Little in the way of exploration or side quests Awkward spell-switching controls.
WTF??? WTF GAMESPOT?? jerks
@CRAPCOM1926 they are right about that
@CRAPCOM1926 if you've played, you would agree with those claims GS made.
Is Kingdom Hearts even an Action-RPG anymore? it feels like a straight up action game now.
this game is fun at first, but the flaws really start to show.here's ONE example frommy 20+ hours of gameplay:
-I encounter ridiculous monster spawns every few steps i take. there is RARELY any breathing room( No towns and npcs )
and that 'Disney Charm' only kicks in about twice through the entire game(when Mickey and the crew get involved).
@Kocelot I've played it. Completely disagree. I clocked 40+ hours into it and counting since completion. (I was playing it on Proud mode, granted)
Yes it's an Action RPG. It has a level system, party members you can train and abilities. There are many stats and collectables. What difference is there from the other games? It's as RPG as the rest.
You get the monster spawns in every Kingdom Hearts game. If anything, this is an improvement thanks to flowmotion. You don't want to fight? Don't fight.
And as for the Disney charm, what's the big deal? This game tells a more serious story, a direction I believe the series has needed to take for some time now. It's still there.
In regards to the review, it sucks. Yes, it's my opinion, but here's why:
The story is complex, we can all agree on that. But it wasn't that hard to follow. The basic outline was easy enough and having both the glossary and the chronicles feature was a huge help. It may be dense at times but "horribly confusing" is pushing it.
"Frustrating boss battles". Uh, isn't that the point of boss battles? If it's frustrating, you either need a new strategy or you need to get stronger. C'mon even the instruction manual had tips for the bosses difficulty.
The side quests part makes no sense. Why is this a bad thing? We still have flick rush, the dive levels, link portals and Dream Eaters in general. (Gotta catch/raise em all)
Hammy voice acting comes and goes, but I never saw any really bad examples of this.
Some of this stuff was just incorrect. They were neither flashbacks nor visions of the future, they were dreams. The game is very clear on this. Plus, the plot isn't centered around that one scene. There's more to it than this guy gives it credit for. And sometimes it seems like he's just making fun of it. Why diss the characters of TWEWY? (A cameo that was either lost or ignored on him.)The skater thing is a part of his charm. How would you like it if I made fun of the way you talk? It's part of characterization. Look it up. What kind of a review is this?
And finally the awkward spell switching which is in reference to a system used in Birth by Sleep. And in each case, it is neither confusing nor awkward so long as you know what you're doing.
Have I made my side clear? This review.
@Gelugon_baat Like what? Lying? Like what?
Maybe it is. Either way, we have a cause, you don't.
Heh, hope you're satisfied. You're a very unkind person. I'm sure you're aware of that. Have fun being a burden to society.
Well like you, I'm not trying to change these opinions. I disagree with them, so I'll argue against them to justify my views. Why? Various reasons, not many of any real value. Fun, boredom, conflict but mostly because I care about the series and I like to talk about it. I'm sure these reasons aren't good enough for you, but that cuts both ways because while my reasons for being here are questionable, yours are downright wrong.
@Gelugon_baat Meh. That was a spur of the moment thing. I apologise for getting carried away.
At least I can be proud in that I justified my own opinion in countering this reviewer's. It's an endless cycle of disagreement in the end. I'm not that bothered about the review anymore. As I already said, it's pretty incorrect anyway. At least it could be worse.
@Kocelot Well that's your opinion, but I have mine. Fair's fair.
The reason I make such a big deal of this is I saw many points where the review was incorrect or unfair. I wanted to raise my voice to the issues with it but unfortunately, Gelugon_baat has missed the point.
It was a good review. But there's plenty of room for improvement.
@Gelugon_baat Yeah right. You're nothing but a liar. I know now that the only reason you are here is to pick on fans of a series you clearly don't care about. You click on videos related to it anyway, look for fans spreading their opinions and views and then impose yours on them.
It's pointless and a waste, but you still insist on picking on guys like us just for entertainment. You have nothing to defend so you just attack us for defending the stuff we care about. You assault fans for being fans. You look down on us for being ourselves.
Of course fans are going to defend their series, but we almost have a right to as fans, (and simply calling out this reviewer on a terrible review) while you have no right to shove your opinions on us for doing so. We are equal, we all have our own views and die-hard fans will ignore glaring flaws because they are that far devoted to their cause. I may not agree with that but unlike you, I know there's no point in trying to change that.
You will never change that. We will always disagree. Your attempts to turn our points of view around or insult our support to the series we love will rightfully fall on deaf ears as you cannot change people just because you disagree with them. It's hopeless.
So once and for all, give up. You won't accomplish anything. Nobody is going to accept your point of view and turn their back on what we happily endorse in. It's how we are. You can try to turn this conversation towards me if you wish, but that won't change the fact that you have no reason to be here.
And because I expect you'll ignore me otherwise, I'll say it once again.
You have no reason to be here.
@Gelugon_baat I keep recieving notifications about you. Why are you still here? Are you really this sad that you have to continue to mindlessly bash a good series and it's fans (me included) for no understandable reason? Do you actually have nothing better to do?
Seriously, why on Earth are you still here?
@Gelugon_baat Kingdom Hearts fans are pretty damn loyal. LOL theyre not gonna change their minds.
anyways, I thought Gamespot gave this game a fair score. 7.0 is not amazing, nor is it bad, KH fans.
I LIKED the game, but it was not as memorable as the first KH games. This is one of those games that you are in love with for the first playthrough, then you notice that it wasnt that great afterwards.
@Gelugon_baat AND I CALL YOU A BROWN NOSER NOT BECAUSE YOU AGREE BUT BECAUSE YOU RAGE AT PEOPLES OPINIONS THE VERY REASON YOU ARE ARGUING IN THE FIRST PLACE YOU HYPOCRITE
@Gelugon_baat I DONT LIKE THIS GAME GET IT IN YOUR HEAD
@Gelugon_baat they are more generous? they give separate scores for certain aspects and give reasons why >.> just like DaxtersSidekick did but you're too focused on brown nosing gamespot, all im trying to get at is some of this reviewers points are stupid I played this game on proud and the bosses were easy the only way he would have trouble is if he tried to get through the game without fighting enemies which you have to do in an RPG also to Kocelot pretty sure most Japanese RPG's have fights every few seconds Final Fantasy is a prime example not to mention you bought the game for this reason what youd rather the whole game be just a cut scene?
@Gelugon_baat I just want a fair, honest review. Good and bad. But this review doesn't do much justice for this game, and that's the truth.
When IGN post a more accurate review than Gamestop you know this site is in trouble.
@Gelugon_baat I'm well aware of that. Did I deny it? I stated my opinion and I justified it. I don't know why you care so much.
Why do I care? Well you said it yourself, I'll take the fan part as a compliment.
Gotta say i disagree with the score but only because he clearly didn't play previous games if he thinks story is confusing will agree though with near enough everything else
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@Gelugon_baat probably the fact he didnt understand an easy plot line idiot and the boss battles can be done by 5 year olds
Cry about it
@Gelugon_baat just gonna say im not a fan in any way of portable kingdom hearts games I actually despise them ¬.¬ im not trying to say the game is good I just pointed out that this reviewer gave poor excuses he could have said anything from the fact that the drop system was pointlessly put in there, worlds were far too short, the only one I agree with that he has put is awkward spell switching and like someone else said the story is not in anyway hard to understand plus there's a journal to tell you the story a bit more clearly which is mentioned constantly throughout the game.
so there I am in no way a fan boy unlike gamespot who give great reviews to repetitive series like COD and battlefield but yet hate dynasty/samurai warriors for the same reason =S and also give Metal gear solid 4 a 10 which in no way does anyone think its the best of the series, its because of people like gamespot we keep getting games like COD and Battlefield with nothing new in them I would say fair enough if there was but there aint
Really hope the reviewer played the previous games... if not then this review is 'meh'. I do get what he means by 'Little in the way of exploration or side quests'
I think the game looks interesting. I played the demo and I liked it, even though I did have to get used to the controls. As for the story I can't say much until I have really seen and played through it.
I do agree with people tho when they say they want kingdom hearts 3 or something along the lines of it. I liked BBS and the others were good for story fillers, but there needs to be another console game. It hasn't been the same with it being on all the portable systems. Hopefully the next game will be the one we've been waiting for in regards to being on a console.